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Friday, December 31, 2021

Looking Back on 2021...

It's been another "Year" hasn't it? As a country, we're still fighting a pandemic, dealing with so much hate and division in the world, and publishing... well, publishing is still publishing: slow, heartbreaking, and impossibly difficult. On top of all this, I had a lot of personal struggles this year, mostly with my health, but also with saying goodbye to my daughter who moved out of state, mourning the loss of my beloved cat, Snowball, and recently, learning one of my close friends will be moving, too. Despite all of this, I keep pushing forward in an effort to meet my goals for the year. So, let's take a look back on the year to see what I accomplished, what I didn't, and what big changes I faced in 2021.

My original 2021 goals included: 


(1) SMALL TOWN COWBOY ROMANCE BOOK / SERIES

I did manage to get the first few chapters written, along with a full synopsis, but I didn't get the whole story written as I would have liked. My agent did send out my partial and proposal, but I'm sad to say the book / series didn't sell. I opted to set it aside (for now) in favor of other projects.


(2) CURSED SERIES SPIN-OFF BOOK

I did write and publish one spin-off book, EVERLASTING HOPE, that picks up right after the end of book 7, Eternal Life. I also began writing another spin-off series called WARS OF THE HEART that will finally give Jax his much deserved happily-ever-after.


(3) ADULT ROMANTIC SUSPENSE BOOK

Hahaha. NOPE! Other than a short story for an anthology, and the aforementioned cowboy book, I didn't really write much adult anything this year. For now, my heart is in YA, so that's probably where I'll stay for the time being.


(4) MORE YA BOOKS

As I've already mentioned, I did write a Cursed Series spin-off book and started a new, related series. Additionally, I co-wrote a YA sci-fi romance called EDGE OF NOWHERE with Rosie Somers. We're currently in the editing stage for that book while plotting out book 2. I wrote THE CULLING as well, which releases January 4, 2022 as part of The Magic of Midnight Anthology.


(5) READ TILL MY EYES BLEED

Sadly, I didn't read nearly as much as I would have liked, but what I have read this year was really great!


(6) GET OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

I'm proud to say I did do this! I had my first ever YouTube interview with the lovely Shraddha Nanda, which you can watch HERE if you'd like. I also attended a local craft / vendor fair where I sold my books. 


While I did fairly well with my goals this past year, so much more has happened that I never expected or planned for, so here's the quick rundown: 


Professionally: 

  • I wrote a total of 361,123 words. That's 319,104 words LESS than last year, but considering all the sick days I had this year, I'll take this a win.
  • I blogged a total of 8,951 words.
  • I released 3 books: Eternal Life, Everlasting Hope, and One Night Vamp (as part of the Lovers Beyond Midnight Anthology)
  • I wrote book 1 of Jax's series, and I'm currently halfway through book 2.
  • I wrote Cursed, which is Eternal Curse as told from Trent's point-of-view. I released it one chapter at a time, weekly, via my newsletter.
  • I sold licensing rights to my series to Readict and eGlobal Creative, so my books continue to reach new readers.
  • I released Eternal Curse and Eternal Choice in audiobook format. Shoutout to my amazing narrator, Andy Garcia-Ruse!
  • I hired an amazing PA -- Hi, Kris!! Having an assistant like this was something that had always been on my bucket list of things I'd love to do/have as an author.
  • I've booked TWO signing events for next year. Check out my full schedule of appearances HERE.
  • For Anaiah, I edited 12 full length novels and 1 novella. 
  • I freelance edited 8 manuscripts.
  • I removed ALL of my books from Kindle Unlimited and have distributed them wide.


Personally:

  • I GOT A PUPPY! His name is Crowley, and he's absolutely adorable. I love him so much. 
  • I made a new friend--my neighbor--who is, sadly, moving to Arizona next month, but having her around to hang out with has been fun. She's also the one who let me have Crowley, so for that, I'll be forever grateful.
  • I survived a still-ongoing global pandemic without getting sick. Well, not any sicker than usual, anyway. Though, I did struggle quite a bit this year with my fibro and fatigue. In fact, I've had a total of 37 sick days where I couldn't manage to get out of bed, let alone work. 
  • I gained back close to 10 pounds, which I know isn't a lot, but I've learned to not let this get me down, and I've reaffirmed my commitment to get back in shape.
  • Both my son and daughter graduated from high school. I'm so incredibly proud of both of them.
  • My daughter from NY was able to come to MI for the graduation ceremony and party. Spending time with her is always wonderful.
  • I made a trip to NY to visit family. 
  • My eldest daughter moved out of my house and in with her boyfriend in Missouri. 
  • I made a trip to Missouri to visit my eldest daughter and surprise her with the delivery of her chosen puppy, Raven.
  • I remodeled my office!
  • I booked a Jamaican cruise for July 2022 that I'll be taking with my BFF, Emily, and all 4 of my girls. I'm crazy excited for this and am praying hard that it all works out. (Stupid Covid!)
  • I got vaccinated for Covid, and surprisingly, I only had mild side effects.
  • My daughter got her dream job working at a puppy daycare.

I even managed to read some this year: 

  • His Kind of Cowgirl by Karen Rock
  • In Bed with the Rancher by Sara Orwig
  • The Rancher by Joanne Rock
  • Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom
  • The Cowboy's Forbidden Crush by Deborah Garland
  • Covet by Tracy Wolff
  • Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence, and Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Freak Frat by Nicki Greenwood
  • Crimson Born, Crimson Storm, Crimson Bond, and Crimson Crown by Amy Patrick
  • Awakening by Leigh Walker
  • Captured by Erica Stevens
  • Wide for the Win by Mark Leslie Lefebvre


Overall, it's been a decent year for me, and I'm excited to see what I can accomplish in 2022. Stay tuned for my official goals post :-) In the meantime, tell me in the comments what YOU did this year! 


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